What to do when no milk after c-section
According to research rising of cesarean section, more than 51% of pregnant women in India give birth through the Cesarean section. Some women choose C-section while others use this method due to medical necessity. Oftentimes, the question has been raised and the C-section and breastfeeding. Some of the common questions are, how will my body react to breastfeeding after the Cesarean section? Is it safe to breastfeed after C-section? When does milk come in after a C section? What to do when no milk after c-section?
It’s important to note that women who give birth through the c section can breastfeed successfully. However, while doing so might pose some challenges, such as delayed baby- mother bonding after the c section. Breastfeeding after a c section is highly encouraged.
For a start, regular pumping to initiate milk supply and help establish a continuous milk production is encouraged. After a c section, you may find it hard to establish a good breastfeeding schedule for instance due to the pain. Besides that, you and your baby may be feeling tired more especially if you had an emergency c section. Therefore, it might take long after a c section to get milk. so
DO NOT WORRY IF THERE IS NO MILK AFTER C-SECTION IMMEDIATELY.
Once you establish a breastfeeding program after a c section, you are likely to continue breastfeeding normally like any woman who gave birth via the vagina.
The cesarean section comes gives many mothers a challenge to start breastfeeding. Whether it was planned or emergency, it can affect feeding. But that does not mean that you will not be able to breastfeed. By learning and understanding that c section can pose feeding challenges, you can prepare yourself and be able to face them with confidence.
Depending on the kind of anesthesia that was used on you during the surgery, you and your baby might be sleepy after the procedure. However, once it begins to wear off you can be able to breastfeed.
It is paramount that you take the pain medications after the c section. When you are in pain, you cannot be able to feed your baby. Some of the pain medicines are safe to use while you are breastfeeding. Therefore, ensure that you inform your doctor that you want to breastfeed your baby.
However, some of the pain medications when they pass through the breast milk, they might make your baby sleepy. This might also pose a challenge to feeding. This is because it is difficult to feed a sleepy baby.
After a c section, the following tips will help you with breastfeeding:
- Ensure that you have skin-to-skin contact with your newborn baby within the first 24 hours after birth. This will help you create a bond with your baby and it will help you start breastfeeding. However, if you were not able to have this contact due to either the baby was ill, it is possible that you can still breastfeed. Although it might take longer for milk to start coming in. you can find help from your midwife or hospital nurses.
- Ask your midwife or nurse to help you express your breast milk. This is likely to help you stimulate the production of milk. Either the midwife or a family member can help feed your baby with the expressed milk.
- Feed your baby more often and for as long as your baby wants. This will help your baby to get the required amount of milk and at the right time. Also, it will help your body to start producing enough milk.
- Try different breastfeeding positions. This will help you find a position that you are comfortable within feeding your baby.
C section can cause a delay in milk production
If you undergo a c section, it may delay your milk coming in as compared to vaginal delivery. To stimulate the production of milk after the surgery, it is advisable to put your baby to breast as soon as possible. You should also breastfeed more often so as to stimulate milk production.
If after the surgery you and your baby are separated for some time, make use of a breast pump. The pump will help to stimulate the production of breast milk. Pump after every 2-3 hours until you can be able to breastfeed your baby.
If the surgery was not planned for or you underwent some traumatic emotional experience during the process, it might also affect the production of milk. Apart from that, if the birth process did not occur as you had expected, it might make you emotional. These are very common experiences. Breastfeeding your baby soon after birth might help you overcome some of these difficulties.
When to start breastfeeding
If you are able, try and start feeding your baby within an hour after the surgery. This is crucial because the baby is likely to be awake during this time. After that period of being awake, the baby is likely to spend most of the time sleeping in the next 24 hours. Therefore, it might be hard to get your baby to start breastfeeding after the first hour.
A newborn baby is likely to start turning the head towards the breast when placed upon the mother’s chest soon after birth.
To start feeding, the baby will naturally latch onto your breast and place its mouth on your nipple. Even if the baby will not latch the first time, with time and practice it will start to breastfeed.
In the next few days, your baby will be demanding to breastfeed more. The baby will usually breastfeed 1-3 hours day and night combined. As the baby continues to grow, the feeding time will increase because the stomach will expand to accommodate more milk.
When will milk start coming in?
During giving birth, the placenta and the uterus are separated. This abrupt change will bring about a hormonal change which will, in turn, send a signal for milk to start being produced. Your body will receive the signal whether you deliver through the vagina or c section. However, if you have a traumatic delivery process such as the c section, the milk production is likely to start a bit late.
The c section, your milk is likely to start coming in after 2-3 days. However, in some cases, it might take up to 6 days. If your milk takes longer to come, do not be alarmed. Put your baby to breast as often as possible so as to stimulate milk production. But ensure that you keep in touch with your doctor so that he can monitor the progress of your baby.
The first few days after giving birth you will only be producing colostrum. This is normally referred to as pre-milk or practice milk. It is usually nutrient-rich. Your baby can do very well feeding on the colostrums for all those days.
Colostrum contains a lot of protective properties which are good for your baby. Some of the protective properties present in milk include immune boosting properties and antibacterial. Most of these properties are not present in your baby’s system at birth.
Colostrums vary from one woman to another. For some, it will be yellowish and thick while for others it will be watery and thin. Normally the flow of colostrums is slow. This will allow your baby to learn to feed.
After 2-3 days, your milk supply is likely to increase and changing from colostrums to normal breast milk. In some isolated cases, a woman’s breast milk might take longer to come. This is normal and you should not be alarmed. However, make sure that you inform your doctor. As much as your baby is perfectly okay feeding on colostrums, your doctor will examine your baby to see the progress. Continue breastfeeding regularly so as to stimulate more milk production.
After undergoing a c section and your milk delays to come, do not use any supplements on your baby. Do not use any baby formula unless your doctor advises you to. This is because when you use supplements, two things are likely to happen:
- When you miss to breastfeed your baby and feed him with supplements, it will reduce the stimulation of your breasts to produce milk. Also, you will not be able to remove milk from your breasts which will also affect the milk production.
- When your baby is fed with supplements, you will need to feed them again as compared to when to breastfeed. Also, the baby will miss the important protective properties that are present in your breast milk. The antibacterial and other compounds available in breast milk are ideal in boosting your baby’s immune system. Your baby will miss all these.
How to latch the baby correctly
Many first time mothers find it hard to latch their babies correctly. If you do not latch your baby correctly, your baby will not feed well and it will be painful for you. The following are the simple ways through which you can latch your baby in the right way.
- Ensure that your baby has opened his mouth wide open. Also, make sure that the tongue is held down when latching.
- When your baby has opened his mouth and the tongue is held down, bring your baby quickly to the breast. Do not bring your breast to the baby. Make sure that your baby takes as much as possible of your breast’s areola into his mouth.
- Support your breast using your hand. Put your fingers at the bottom and your thumb at the top. However, ensure you leave enough space for the baby’s mouth to latch onto.
- Slowly and gently slide the nipple of your breast to the bottom of your baby’s lip. This will prompt your baby to open his mouth.
- Once your baby takes the breast to his mouth, ensure that his nose is almost touching your breast. But be careful that it is not pressed against your breast. Your baby’s mouth should be open and you should be able to hear him swallowing. You can also tell that your baby is swallowing by seeing the movement of the baby’s temple and ears. Also, some babies will make small noises as they suck and swallow.
- If you are a first-time mother, it’s advisable to have someone knowledgeable observe you as you breastfeed.
When your baby is latched on correctly, you are likely to experience some pain for up to 1 minute. This is natural because your baby is pulling on the nipple. The pain will then subside after 1 minute. After that, you will feel like a tug as your baby is sucking.
However, if the pain persists, momentarily stop breastfeeding and get your baby a different position. If you continue experiencing pain, talk to your doctor to ensure that you don’t have an infection.
How to tell if your baby is getting the milk
Once the baby is correctly latched, he will start sucking immediately and then followed by a few seconds of pause. The sucking will increase as the flow of milk increases. Again as the flow of milk decreases, the sucking will also decrease followed by moments of pause.
Most of the time newborn babies will fall asleep while sucking. To prevent your baby from sleeping while sucking, gently rub his feet or back. Ensure that your baby burp before you allow him to sleep.
Best Breastfeeding Positions After a C section
It is likely that after a c section you will feel uncomfortable to breastfeed your baby. Therefore, it is paramount to find a breastfeeding position that you will be comfortable with. The following are some of the positions that you can try.
- Side-lying position – this is the most common and comfortable position for most mothers who have a c section. In this position, you lie on your side facing your baby. This position allows you to have a rest while you are breastfeeding your baby.
- Football holds – it is also known as a clutch. In this position, your baby is supported by pillows as you breastfeed. You hold your baby on your side and under your arms. This position is ideal for mothers who undergo c section because the baby does not put any pressure on your belly. It is also a good position for mothers with big breasts or with twins.
- Crossover hold – it is also known as cradle position. In this position, you put a pillow in your laps and allow the baby to lie on it. This position allows you to control how your baby breastfeeds.
Below is the wonderfull informative video of 5 simple breastfeeding ways.
Because of the nature of the surgery, after the c section delivery, you might not be able to start breastfeeding immediately. But as soon as you feel comfortable, start breastfeeding. Nursing your newborn baby soon after delivery will help to stimulate the hormones that are responsible for milk production. The hormones will first trigger the secretion of colostrums which will later be followed with breast milk.
Because of the medicines that you use after the c section, your breast milk may take longer to come in but it will come. But you can expect your milk to start coming in after 2 to 3 days and the latest 6 days. But you do not have to be worried because the colostrums are good food for your baby until breast milk comes in.
When you are in your hospital bed recuperating, take advantage of that time to bond with your baby. As you are bonding, nurse your baby as often as after every two hours. This will not only stimulate the production of milk, but it will also body with your baby.
Make sure also that you get a lot of rest, drink a lot of water and eat protein-rich foods. Ask your family and friends to help you with the other chores and concentrate on rebuilding your body after the shock. Relax as much as possible. Learn how to be a good mother and leave behind all the stress of the surgery. Go for short walks, take hot showers and snuggle your baby to have skin-to-skin contact as you relax.
Once you settle at home with your baby, make sure you give yourself enough time to heal from the c section surgery before you engage in any form of work. Resting will not only help your wound to heal faster but also it will buy you time to find easy access to your bundle of joy.
Undergoing a Cesarean section comes with its fair share of challenges. But you can overcome them. Your greatest motivation should be giving your baby the right and best nutrition through your breast milk.